Ergonomic Issues with iPad

Discussion in 'iPad' started by gregwyattjr, May 23, 2012.

  1. gregwyattjr macrumors regular

    gregwyattjr

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    #1
    I love the iPad and think it is the future of computing, but the only thing keeping it from being my personal future of computing is the awkward ergonomics when using the iPad for a long period of time.

    If I'm sitting and have the iPad propped up on my lap (no matter which Smart Cover position I use) I have to bow my head down to look at the screen, which causes strain in my neck after a while and is extremely uncomfortable. If I try to hold it out in from of me while sitting, the strain transfers to my wrists and exhausts my arms.

    If I'm at a desk using it like I would a computer, I can elevate it enough to save my head from any bowing. But then the issue of my wrists arises again. I have to lift my arm to tap the screen while browsing the internet, which is not ergonomically efficient when compared to a trackpad on a laptop computer. Like Steve Jobs said, touch-based surfaces want to be horizontal, not vertical. So using the iPad on a desk would be like using a laptop with a touch-enabled screen. It doesn't feel comfortable nor natural.

    If I lay down on my stomach and place the iPad in front of my face, strain persists in my neck since I have to look up to see the screen. Ditto for laying on my back and placing the iPad on my chest, I have to bow my head to see it.

    It seems to me that there is an ergonomic either/or decision that needs to be made by the user when using iPad:
    Deal with wrist/arm strain or deal with neck/back strain. And I'd prefer not to deal with either.

    That is why I still do most of my computer-related tasks on my laptop rather than my iPad. Merely because I can use my MacBook for long periods of time without sacraficing ergonomic comfort.

    Have you guys had similar concerns with your iPad? If so, what do you do to keep the ergonomic strain at a minimum?
     
  2. VFC macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2012
    Location:
    SE PA.
    #2
    I have the exact same issue. In fact my neck was hurting reading your post.

    The only confortable way for me to use the iPad for an extended period is to place a large pillow on my lap and rest the iPad on it.
     
  3. astrorider macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    #3
    Crossing my legs and putting the iPad on my thigh up near my knee seems to work well for me when sitting. It helps to have something on the back of the iPad like a Smart Cover or skin to keep it from slipping.
     
  4. madat42 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    #4
    It's no less ergonomic than reading a hardback book.
     
  5. BJMRamage macrumors 68020

    BJMRamage

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    #5
    I hate having to move a bit when I am on the computer/ipad.

    Kidding. Yeah sometimes I do get tired, then I move and find a new position.
    but yeah Pillows are nice.
     
  6. Sylon macrumors 68020

    Sylon

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Location:
    Michigan/Ohio, USA
    #6
    Yes, with the smart cover, you don't have many options. However, with a more adjustable case you would have similar options as if you were using a laptop on your lap.

    However, like a laptop, the iPad has different required angles for typing than it does for viewing. On a laptop, the keyboard ic flat while the screen is angled. Same for the iPad, however both the "keyboard" and the screen are one in the same. So if you had a case with grooves in it for adjusting the iPad on the fly, it could make things easier for you. That way you can quickly switch from viewing to typing and back without too much hassle.
     
  7. TheKricket macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    #7
    It is, actually - considering most hardback books aren't so large - and their natural thickness inherently make them easier to grip with a human hand...

    EDIT - MOST hardback books have a MUCH smaller footprint
     
  8. RedRaven571 macrumors 65816

    RedRaven571

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    Pennsylvania
  9. BJMRamage macrumors 68020

    BJMRamage

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    #9
    good call.
     
  10. Mak47 macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 27, 2011
    Location:
    Harrisburg, PA
    #10
    The only thing that bugs me is the sharp edge if I don't have it in a case or some kind of skin. I don't find the iPad difficult to hold or position in any way, but after a while that edge really digs into your hand.

    I'd honestly like to see a bumper, similar to the iPhone 4 come out for it. I don't always want the bulk of a full case, but something that gives a little space between it and flat surfaces, and covers the edges would be perfect.
     
  11. VFC macrumors 6502a

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    SE PA.
    #11
    The real issue is you have to touch the screen to use it. If I'm watching a movie I can set the iPad at eye level and relax. However, most everything else requires me to touch the screen; and that's where the neck, wrist, and back pain starts.

    If I have a lot of information to read on a screen and need to interact wth the screen or input data, I'll use my pc rather than the iPad because the monitor is at eye level and the keyboard/mouse/trackpad is on the desk where I can rest my arm.
     
  12. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #12
    I agree with what you are saying about the iPad, but how do you use your MacBook? Because unless I'm using the MacBook at a desk, I find all sorts of ergonomic problems with it, too. In fact, even at a desk, the ergonomics of a laptop isn't perfect -- the monitor should ideally be at eye level, but if you raise the laptop that high, then the keyboard is too high to type comfortably. So in my opinion, both the iPad and laptop is problematic with regard to ergonomics, but that's the price we pay for the convenience of increased mobility.
     
  13. VFC macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    That's why people have external monitors attached to laptops. I have had a Dell laptop from the company for five years and have not seen the screen in years. It stays closed on the docking station.
     
  14. BFizzzle macrumors 68020

    BFizzzle

    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    Location:
    Austin TX
    #14
    i find hanging upside down from my feet like Bruce Wayne, is the most ergonomically friendliest way to use my new ipad...
     
  15. johndallas999 macrumors 6502a

    johndallas999

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    Oct 9, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #15
    Uh...I don't know that i've ever seen Bruce Wayne hand from his feet. That makes 0 cents.:rolleyes::confused:
     
  16. bufffilm Suspended

    bufffilm

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #16
    an answer that says absolutely nothing. reading a hardcover isn't exactly a comfortable thing to do for many people. :rolleyes:
     
  17. BFizzzle, May 23, 2012
    Last edited: May 23, 2012

    BFizzzle macrumors 68020

    BFizzzle

    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    Location:
    Austin TX
    #17
    watch time burtons 1989 batman movie.

    [​IMG]

    you just cant see bruces ipad hes reading there.. ;)
     
  18. chokem macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 7, 2012
    Location:
    Searcy, AR
    #18
    I'm glad I'm not the only one. Ive been using one of the end pillows off my couch, which miffs my wife pretty good.
     
  19. dcomfe macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    #19
    Problem-Solution

    That's EXACTLY what Comfe Hands had in mind with their design: www.comfehands.com. Something lightweight that isn't a case and slips on the sides. Super comfortable. No more edges digging into the hand.
     
  20. madat42 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    #20
    Exactly, and yet people have dealt with it much longer than the iPad's been around. :rolleyes: right back at ya
     
  21. taipan61 macrumors 6502

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    May 18, 2011
    Location:
    corner starbucks
    #21
    makes the iPad look like it has boobs :eek:
     
  22. ZipZap macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    #22
    Its for these reasons I use the zerochroma case...I can usually get the ipad into a good position on a desktop with it.

    Using in one's lap is a no win!

    I have said many times on many threads >>>>>>>>>>>> IPADS ARE TOO DAMN HEAVY!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  23. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #23
    How are you holding the iPad?

    I just do this.

    [​IMG]

    Not heavy at all in this position. This, btw, is also how I hold a hard cover book.
     
  24. VFC macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 6, 2012
    Location:
    SE PA.
    #24
    Yeah but your neck is bent way down looking at it. As you get older that gets more painful.
     
  25. Rennir macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    #25
    So ergonomic R&D for the iPad is the same amount they put into a hardcover book? :D
     

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